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Harrison
10th March 2009, 13:11
How annoying is this. I was about to order the parts for the new PC I'm about to build, switched on my existing main PC and it booted up fine. Was using it for about 30 minutes and suddenly it switched itself off without warning. I tried to switch it back on but got no response from the front power switch.

So I switched the PSU off, disconnected it from the mains, waited a couple of minutes, plugged it back in and switched the PSU back on. As soon as I switched the PSU back on the system fans span for a couple of seconds, and then the system switched off again. And the front case PSU didn't do anything when tried.

I therefore instantly suspected the PSU had died. So I opened the case up and smelt the PSU and it does have a slight electrical burning smell. And not taking any risked I decided it was better to just swap the PSUs. I have a spare 500W PSU, so I dismantled the system and swapped the PSUs over, but the same thing still happens. When the switch on the PSU is switched on the fans all spin for a couple of seconds then it all switches off again.

Next I stripped the system down and currently only have connected:

PSU
Motherboard
CPU
CPU fan
1 case fan
1 stick ram
Graphics card
motherboard power switch and reset switchs connected to motherboard.

So quite a minimal setup. However it is still doing the same thing. Switching the actual PSU switch on, the fans for CPU, case and graphics card all spin for about 2 seconds then it switches itself off again.

Any ideas what the main cause of this is?

I know the second PSU is OK because I tested it in another system. However I can't test the graphics card or CPU because I don't have another Athlon 64 motherboard or PCI-E based system at the moment to put either into. I am going to try some ram from a different PC in the system next though to see if that is the cause. Otherwise it must be either the graphics card, CPU or motherboard, which is really annoying as I wanted to use this as a second PC for video encoding once I'd built the new one.

However, my main question is, what causes the fans to spin when the PSU power switch is turned on? Normally when the PSU switch is switched on nothing happens other than the motherboard green light coming on. And only when the soft power on switch on the case is pressed do the fans spin and the system boot. So why are they spinning when the PSU itself is switched on? Does this indicate the motherboard is faulty?

And the other irony is that the motherboard and CPU both had 3 year warranties on them, which I think ran out in January!!! Ahhh!!!

Normally I can sort faulty PCs out easily, but without a spare PCI-E graphics card or a way to test the CPU in another system I'm a bit limited and think I've got as far as I can with what I had to hand. Annoyingly this system has never had a single problem until this. It has always booted and never actually had a full system crashed once in the three years of using it. It has been extremely stable.

So am I right in thinking it has to either be the Motherboard, CPU or graphics card? Or can I rule out the graphics card because the system doesn't even power on? I've always thought the system would report a series of error beeps if the graphics card or CPU was bad?

Justin
10th March 2009, 13:28
yo dude!!

sounds to me like either bios bettery, or motherboard, do you have any other memory you could test?

JuvUK

Merlin
10th March 2009, 13:35
Just a thought; if the default in the bios is set to AGP as the primary graphics adapter, it may shut down as the bios can't see one; as JuvUK says, the bios could have reset itself. Do you have an old PCI (not PCI-E) graphics card you can throw into it to see if a display comes up? I keep an old TNT2 PCI video card in the toolbox just for situations like this.

The lack of beeps or alarms hints that the system is getting past the POST, so it is likely to be a CPU or display issue. If the PSU died horribly there could have been a spike sent through the board causing damage that you can't see.

Harrison
10th March 2009, 13:49
Sadly I don't have any old PCI graphics cards still around to try. All my older systems are AGP and I've not used a PCI graphics card for over 10 years. This system is the first I've owned with PCI-E, which is a bit annoying as until now I've just been able to try one of my many old spare AGP cards in a faulty system.

What happens if no graphics card is installed? Shouldn't the motherboard give out a beep error because it can't be found? I'm sure some of my other systems did this in the past.

I've tested the ram in another system and it works fine, so it isn't the ram.

I reset the BIOS by clearing it using the motherboard jumper, but that didn't help.

I do have some spare batteries so will try swapping that over next just in case it is something that simple.

The thing I don't get though is that the fans are spinning up for 2 seconds when the PSU's own power switch is switched on, not when the system power switch is pressed. So I'm not even getting to the point of trying to switch the system on. I connect the power cord to the PSU, switch the PSU on, the fans spin for a couple of seconds then switch off, the green light is on on the motherboard, but after this the system is dead. Pressing the case power switch doesn't do anything. The fans don't spin and nothing happens.

imnogeek
10th March 2009, 14:03
It is quite normal to get a quick burst of fans when the power supply is plugged in - the MB is live all the time on an ATX PSU.

I would have thought it unlikely for the bios battery to be at fault as it shut down during use.
Unless you have had a major failure of MB/CPU etc then I would suspect a short so try these...

Did you unplug Keyboard an mouse when trying it? if not unplug them and try again.
Take MB out of case and lay on non conductive surface ( I normally have it standing on some plastics board mounts to raise it off the surface)
leaving in RAM (which you could swap to another slot if you want to rule the slot out), gfx card, cpu and fan and MB power connector and plug in monitor.
do not plug in keyboard, mouse, any ide/floppy cables etc
now turn on by BRIEFLY shorting the 2 power jumpers with the tip of a screwdriver

if no luck unplug monitor too you will see if the fans spin constantly then.

this should rule out any shorts from the board touching the case or a loose screw in the case etc.

Justin
10th March 2009, 14:05
@ Harrison,
i can send you an old pci card i have kicking around here if you like?

cheers, JuvUK

Kin Hell
10th March 2009, 14:28
@ Harrison

When you flip the Battery out, Pull the CPU & the Ram, put CMOS reset jumper in place & go make a coffee. Drink coffee, Put CMOS jumper to run, re-fit CPU & ram, then try again.

Bios corruption can be a b!tch.

Other than that, the Mobo Power Regs could be FuX0rd. Have you checked for Blown CAPS?

Good luck!


@ imnogeek


It is quite normal to get a quick burst of fans when the power supply is plugged in - the MB is live all the time on an ATX PSU.


Only if you use cheap nasty un-switched PSU's. Get yourself a Good Branded PSU & you don't get the Fan Twitch/Surge when plugging in! :wink:

imnogeek
10th March 2009, 14:34
Only if you use cheap nasty un-switched PSU's. Get yourself a Good Branded PSU & you don't get the Fan Twitch/Surge when plugging a Live PSU into your Mobo!

which applies for most Dells ;)

edit: sorry forgot to say I don't know what he has in there so it could still apply.

Harrison
10th March 2009, 14:59
The PSU is a Thermaltake TR2 500W so it should be OK.

One of the first things I tried was to strip the whole system down. I removed the motherboard from the case (as I wanted to use this case for the new system anyway so it was being moved at some point), set the motherboard up on a wooden surface. Had just the CPU, RAM, Graphics card and PSU connected up. Nothing else. Tried to power it up and the same thing happened. The fans spin for two seconds when the PSU power is switched on, then nothing. And shorting the power on doesn't do anything.

I've tested the RAM in another system and that works fine so that can be ruled out.

I'm removed, cleaned, applied new thermal paste and remounted the CPU and heatsink. No difference. And while the CPU does have a head spreader covering it, normally you can see some sign of damage if it has shorted, and it looked fine.

So I think it has to be either the graphics card or the motherboard itself.

I keep mentioning the fans spinning for two seconds when the PSU power switch is first switched on because this never happened before. The fans wouldn't not move until the front case power switch was used. So it is behaving differently making me think it is the motherboard. But I would like to rule out the graphics card first.

Harrison
10th March 2009, 15:03
@ Harrison

When you flip the Battery out, Pull the CPU & the Ram, put CMOS reset jumper in place & go make a coffee. Drink coffee, Put CMOS jumper to run, re-fit CPU & ram, then try again.

Bios corruption can be a b!tch.

Other than that, the Mobo Power Regs could be FuX0rd. Have you checked for Blown CAPS?

Good luck!


I've checked the board all over closely when I removed it from the case and it all looks in good condition. No buldging caps or funny coloured stuff oozing out, so that didn't reveal anything.

I've also had a good look at the graphics card and that looks fine, although that isn't always the case.

I didn't pull the ram and CPU when I tried clearing the CMOS. I will try that now and see what happens.

Harrison
10th March 2009, 15:03
@ Harrison,
i can send you an old pci card i have kicking around here if you like?

cheers, JuvUK

That would be very useful if you could.

Justin
10th March 2009, 15:04
no worries m8y, pm me your deets and i'll get it on it's way :D

Merlin
10th March 2009, 15:54
@ H

Another thought; have you checked the voltage on the grey lead on the ATX supply, which if I recall correctly is the 'Power Good' line? If there was a fault, this line would not go high (+5v) and the board would fail to start.

Details are here:-

http://pinouts.ru/Power/atxpower_pinout.shtml

or here:-

http://wiki.xtronics.com/index.php/ATX_Pinout

Kin Hell
10th March 2009, 16:09
@ Merlin

He couldn't be unlucky enough to have 2 x grey atx wire faults could he?

He already swapped PSU's out m8! :wink:

Kin

Harrison
10th March 2009, 16:21
The PSU is working fine. I don't have a multimeter here (lost it somewhere) so I can't test the lines. However I tested the PSU to see if it would stay powered on by shorting the green power-on wire across to a black ground and the PSU powered up and stays on.

And I also connected it to an older spare PC and that booted and worked perfectly. So it definitely isn't the replacement PSU I'm using.

BTW, I finally had to remove the old PSU from the house. I didn't think is spelt much at all, but I went downstairs to get a coffee and came back up and the smell was quite strong in the room. So that definitely died!

So I think I have narrowed it down to graphics card or motherboard.

This is so annoying. I had some freelance design work that needed to be done today too, and while I do have a few other PCs, the work was all on the main system and none of the software is installed on any of the others. I might take a trip to Novatech in Portsmouth tomorrow morning and pick up the parts for my new PC and spend the day building that so I can get back up and running to get the freelance work done.

I was just thinking. We had a powercut on Sunday here. The PC wasn't switched on, but the power cable was still connected. Could the power cut have caused the PSU to die? The PC was working yesterday, but then died when I switched it on this morning. So I'm wondering if that somehow weakened it enough for it to overload? If so it was plugged into a Belkin surge protector with a lifetime warranty. Anyone know if that could be claimed against? Or failing that what about the house insurance? As I'm building a new system I can leave the dead one semi built for any insurance claim assessors to look at. What do you think? Good idea? Or a waste of time trying?

Harrison
10th March 2009, 16:27
Justin is posting me an old PCI graphics card tomorrow so that will see if it is the graphics card or not, and then it would all indicate the motherboard is fried.

Can anyone suggest any online stores that still have any 939 motherboards in stock? Novatach has one low end Asus board which would probably be OK, but it is over 60 and not that great a spec. Microdirect, ebuyer, Dabs and saverstore don't have any at all any more. Anywhere that might?

imnogeek
10th March 2009, 16:30
The power cut may have had a bearing on and the old PSU failing but I think the surge protection should definately have taken that not your PC.

I think it would be reasonable to assume the motherboard is damaged as a result of the PSU failing - which they often do when they are turned on after being off for a time (I hate powering down a server for exactly that reason)

I would invest in a small UPS suitable for your new PC you should get a reasonable one with monitoring for about 40-50.

Justin
10th March 2009, 16:43
there are a load of them on the other "bay" under 939 motherboard if thats any use to you m8

JuvUK

imnogeek
10th March 2009, 16:48
overclock.co.uk have 2 ASRock 939NPV-GLAN in stock

Kin Hell
10th March 2009, 17:37
Alot of 939 boards have Bios Issues when the batteries run low, particulary nVidia Chipsets.

If it's a dual channel DDR Ram board, make sure the ram is in the right slots. DFI 939 boards are a nightmare on Dual Channel Ram & DIMM 0 & 2 isn't always the right thing to do. I just serviced a DFI LP nF4 SLI DR Expert board that wont work properly, unless the Ram is in DIMM 1 & 3. Also, 1T Ram Timings are more stable on 939 than 2T Timings. You will need to know exactly what ram is fitted as it might not be suitable for this Mobo/CPU combination.

Kin

Harrison
10th March 2009, 17:41
Cheers. I might get that once from overclock.co.uk.

@JuvUK. I did have a look on ebay and there are definitely quite a few, although most sellers are trying to get close to the original retail price for what is a used second hand board, so they are both a rip off in standard ebay style, and also I don't really like to buy second-hand motherboards from ebay due to them being used and potentially already dead or close to failing. You have no way to know how long they have been running and used, possibly stressed with overclocking too.

Saying that though, when I had a system do a similar thing three years ago I did buy an identical second-hand replacement board from ebay as I needed the same SATA controller to access the raid setup HDs. Worked fine and is actually still being used in my MAME cabinet.

Harrison
10th March 2009, 17:47
Alot of 939 boards have Bios Issues when the batteries run low, particulary nVidia Chipsets.

If it's a dual channel DDR Ram board, make sure the ram is in the right slots. DFI 939 boards are a nightmare on Dual Channel Ram & DIMM 0 & 2 isn't always the right thing to do. I just serviced a DFI LP nF4 SLI DR Expert board that wont work properly, unless the Ram is in DIMM 1 & 3. Also, 1T Ram Timings are more stable on 939 than 2T Timings. You will need to know exactly what ram is fitted as it might not be suitable for this Mobo/CPU combination.

Kin

The setup has been working fine for 3 years so it isn't a recent configuraton of change in hardware that is an issue. The system just suddenly died this morning while being used.

However saying that, you are right about the ram slots. This Asus A8N SLI Premium board will only accept a single DIMM if it is in the B1 ram slot, and for dual channel they have to be in A1 and B1 first then B2 and A2 next. I did double check that in the manual this morning when I decided to try a single DIMM in the board to check for ram issues.

It is an nVidia nForce 4 based board though as you mention, and I know nForce chipsets have been known to cause lots of problems with hardware compatibility and ram issues. However I've never had any problems with this board in the past and the Crucial branded ram I'm using has been working fine until now in the board.

I definitely think it is the motherboard that is dead. But I will still be testing with the PCI card when it arrives just to rule that out as a last resort.

Harrison
10th March 2009, 17:54
Oh, BTW. A trip is now planned for tomorrow to drive to Novatech in Portsmouth and pick up the parts for my new system. So at least the death of my current system has pushed me to build the new one now rather than in a few more weeks. :)

I've spent a bit of time this afternoon stripping down the Thermaltake Tsunami case and cleaning out any dust ready for the new setup. And I've moved the currently dead system into a spare Thermaltake Soprano case. And if the motherboard is dead I will still rebuild that in the same case with a new motherboard.

The final spec of the new system will be pretty much as I listed in the other topic

Q6600 CPU (Go stepping)(already purchased).
Arctic Freezer 7 Pro cooler
Asus P5Q Deluxe (decided to get this due to the much better motherboard headpipe system and 16 phase power system.
Corsair XMS2 8GB Ram
Sapphire 4870 IGB Graphics card
XFi PCI-E x1 soundcard

And I will pick up a new PSU at the same time. I would like a modular PSU. What recommendations around 70-80 would you suggest? The Coolermaster Modular ones for around 75 for a 620W PSU looked a good price. Are they worth it?

Looking forward to buying it all now. :)

Kin Hell
10th March 2009, 18:14
If it's all the same hardware Harrison, then it could just be a corrupted Bios which nVidia 939 boards suffer badly from. When you pull the CPU, RAM, Battery & place the CMOS reset jumper in place, be sure to do it with your PSU un-plugged from the mains & earth yourself suitably. Likewise, when putting it all back in, do it without the Mains lead in the PSU. This is very important or you won't get the desired results.

The DFI nF4 SLI DR Expert board I fixed this very way only 2 days ago was showing the same symptoms. It would turn itself off when it wanted & sometimes would not turn on without powering off from the mains. Right old perlava to get it running again! :roll:

Kin

Harrison
11th March 2009, 01:00
OK cheers. I will run through the process and try that again either tomorrow or Thursday and let you know what happens. First I'm going to build the new PC tomorrow and get that running so I can get back up and running properly (currently typing this using my MAME cabinet! :lol:).

keropi
11th March 2009, 09:29
OK cheers. I will run through the process and try that again either tomorrow or Thursday and let you know what happens. First I'm going to build the new PC tomorrow and get that running so I can get back up and running properly (currently typing this using my MAME cabinet! :lol:).

ah, the joys of a MAME cabinet... I envy you! :o

Justin
11th March 2009, 09:32
graphics card posted this morning and winging it's way to you as we speak m8


JuvUK

Harrison
11th March 2009, 10:35
That is great. Thank you again. I hope it is the graphics card.

TheCorfiot
11th March 2009, 10:38
It's the Mobo / CPU for sure :wink:

TC :mrgreen:

Merlin
11th March 2009, 10:48
@ TC

That would certainly explain no beeps from the bios.....

Harrison
11th March 2009, 17:08
Very annoying but I also suspect the same.

It is ashame for another reason. These Asus boards have a cool feature. Instead of beeping when the bios detects a problem they actually output the problem via a voice through the PC's speakers. Things like "Keyboard not detected" or "There is a problem with the CPU". Quite cool, and I've never heard it, which is a little disappointing. Does anyone know if the newer Asus boards have the same feature? You could even record your own messages!

BTW, I've got all the parts for the new system build today. :) Drove to Novatech in Portsmouth and picked them up this morning. And am going to assemble it all tomorrow. Looking forward to this new system. :) Final specs are close to the list I originally gave, but I managed to get an XFX 4870 1GB graphics card, which is the XXX edition, so is pre-overclocked by the maker, meaning it is covered by the warranty at this setting. Plus a thermaltake toughpower modular 750W PSU.

Kin Hell
11th March 2009, 23:48
Does anyone know if the newer Asus boards have the same feature? You could even record your own messages!


Google!? - Unless it's a bad day for searching of course! :P

Harrison
12th March 2009, 00:35
I couldn't remember what the feature was called, so wondered if anyone here already knew.

TheCorfiot
12th March 2009, 09:38
I couldn't remember what the feature was called, so wondered if anyone here already knew.


Try the ASUS website, I'm sure they would have the feature listed in their product specs.

Justin
12th March 2009, 10:12
"it takes a novel twist this time in the form of a speaking BIOS and Asus call it the POST Reporter.. The P4B has a Winbond voice controller on board that talks to you when something goes wrong like a memory error on POST, CPU fan failure or CPU voltage error. Asus also provide software to change the voices spoken on the errors. Therefore, with a little bit of ingenuity, there is nothing stopping you recording your own vocal POST messages."

there ya go, hope this helps 8)

JuvUK

Harrison
12th March 2009, 10:55
Thanks.

I'm not sure this feature is included in their new boards any more. My new P5Q Deluxe motherboard's manual doesn't give mention of it at all. Strange as I thought that was quite a nice feature.

Harrison
13th March 2009, 01:30
graphics card posted this morning and winging it's way to you as we speak m8


JuvUK

The PCI graphics card arrived safely today. Thank you again. :)

I should have time either tomorrow or Monday to test the system with it and see if it fires up.

Some other good news. I build the new system today and it is now fully up and running. Very quiet and very fast. Really nice and I'm very pleased so far. I ended up installing Vista Ultimate on it. And it is a purchased real copy too, but I wasn't mad enough to pay full price. I got it via a friend through his company as he was doing some software and hardware ordering for his company and ordered it with the rest of the stuff. :)

I've not started to overclock it yet as I want to get everything installed first and setup as I wish. Then the fun will begin seeing how far the Q6600 will go. At the moment on stock settings it is idling at the desktop at 21 degrees!

BTW it was a bit fiddly to fit everything into the case. The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro heatsink only just fitted into the CPU area as the P5Q Deluxe motherboard has quite big passive heatsinks around that area. It is sitting just above the fins, and it made it hard to reattach the fan once the heatsink was fitted, but I got it all in. And the graphics card's two PCI-E power connectors were in the way of the HDD drive cage so I've had to install the three HDDs with two at the top of the cage and one at the bottom, so the PCI-E power cables could be threaded through the middle of the cage to the card. Took some fiddling by got there in the end. Oh, and the modular cables on the PSU are bloody stiff! They don't bend much at all without some force. Great PSU though.

I'm now off to push it a bit by trying some DX10 games. :) Far Cry 2 first I think, followed by Fallout 3.

Justin
16th March 2009, 12:10
ooooo ooooo oooooo is it working yet? did you get a chance to test it?

cheers, juvUK

Harrison
17th March 2009, 09:43
I stripped it right back to just the CPU, ram and your PCI card and still nothing.

I then found some more info about the "POST Reporter" feature, where the motherboard would say there was no CPU if you connect it up to the PSU without anything else installed, and speakers connected to the green motherboard speaker output. I tried this and still nothing.

I then noticed one of the capacitors is damaged on the motherboard. It is located below the CPU socket and just above the motherboard heatpipe system. So I think I've finally located the problem. Could the capacitor be replaced? Or is it not worth it in case other things are wrong with the board?

I will take a picture of the capacitor and post it here.

Merlin
17th March 2009, 11:06
It's only going to cost pence to find out if it is a blown capacitor; it's not like you would lose more than you stand to gain if it fixes the problem.

Go for it.

Harrison
17th March 2009, 11:37
It's only going to cost pence to find out if it is a blown capacitor; it's not like you would lose more than you stand to gain if it fixes the problem.

Go for it.

Good point. I just need to wait for my new soldering iron to arrive. Should be this week.

BTW, I know next to nothing about electronics. I did do A-Level Physics years ago, but the electronics aspect was completely theory and equation based, so I don't have any real practical experience with electronics at all other than making up cables and soldering a few wires for modchips etc. How to I work out what replacement capacitor I need? And can you buy them singularly?

I do have a couple of dead graphics cards and other things to practice on though, because attempting something for real.

Merlin
17th March 2009, 13:07
"...Paging Dr. Zetr0, Dr. Zetr0 to surgery, please............."

:lol:

Harrison
17th March 2009, 13:40
I will take a picture of the motherboard and try and find a schematic of it, which hopefully will help.

It would be cool to get this board working again, and for me to do it myself, as it would feel like a real achievement. I do however have the feeling I'm going to need lots of advice from the big Z. ;)

rkauer
17th March 2009, 14:59
When I see a blown over capacitor on a peecee mobo, I always swap the voltage regulator near it.

A good tip for ya, H. :wink:

Harrison
1st April 2009, 14:10
I'm pleased to say that I've resurrected the older computer now. And it is being put into service as a replacement Emulation system, taking over from an Athlon XP 3000+ system I have been used for the last 3 years. :)

I ended up buying a replacement motherboard. I could only find one motherboard still being made for 939 socket Athlon 64's, so I had to go with that. It is an ASRock MoBo (which I normally avoid building systems around due to their budget nature), but they seem to have progressed in the last couple of years. I had to repair a dead system for a friend early last year, and his was still running an Athlon XP, and again at that time only an ASRock board was available, but I was quite impressed with it for the money. And ASRock are a branch of Asus, so they should in reality be quite good. What you don't get with them is as much detail in their manuals compared to Asus boards, but for anyone who builds computers that isn't a problem.

And again this new ASRock board is pretty good for the money. It is smaller than a standard ATX size, measuring 9.6" by 8.6", so actually a bit smaller than the standard microATX standard, and therefore quite a bit smaller than the dead Asus board it replaces. This is mainly due to it only having a single PCI-E slot compared to the old board having 2, and only having one PCI-E x1 slot and 2 PCI slots. But it still has quite a few nice features.

The actual model is ASRock 939N68PV-GLAN. And it actually beats the old Asus A8N-SLI Premium board I was using before in a number of areas. It seems to have better overclocking potential with nicer settings in the BIOS, and it can also run 4 ram modules at 400MHz, whereas the Asus board would drop to 333MHz if 4 were installed. It also has 4 USB2 headers on the motherboard, so an extra 8 USB ports can be added to backplates, case front panels, or hooked up to a card reader, which is very useful; making a total of up to 12 ports if needed (the old Asus board only supported 10). It also has better on board audio, using Digital HD audio, compared to the old board having the older not so good Realtek AC97 standard.

Where it isn't so good is in other on board connectors. It only has a single Lan gigabit port, but then I didn't really need the extra one on the old board. It only has 4 SATA ports, compared to 8 on the old board. This is a bit of a limitation as I wanted to move over to using an SATA DVD-RW, but I wouldn't then have any SATA ports free. And it only has a single IDE port, so only 2 PATA devices can be connected. At the moment I have 2 DVD-RW's attached to this, so I can't attach any older IDE HDDs if needed.

The layout of the new board is a little unusual, but I found it quite a good layout. Having the floppy drive connector on the bottom edge towards the left was a little odd, and the 24 pin motherboard power connector is located to the left of the CPU, which is a bit odd compared to ASUS boards which are always on the right edge in a perfect location away from the CPU, any rear case fans, and out of the way of the air flow of the PSU. But I got around that with some cable ties.

So the current setup of the rebuilt system is:

Athlon 64 3700+ (overclocked to 2.4GHz)
Arctic Freezer 64 Pro Cooler
ASRock 939N68PV-GLAN motherboard
3GB DDR3200 Ram
PNY 7800GT 256MB Graphics card
120GB Maxtor SATA HDD (boot drive)
2x 1TB Samsung F1 SATA2 HDDs
2x PATA DVD-RWs
500W Thermaltake PSU
Thermaltake Soprano Case
Windows XP SP3

I decided to stick with WinXP SP3 (32bit) for this system as my main system is now running Vista SP1 (64bit), so it is a useful second system for any software, games and emulators that I can't get to run on the 64bit OS, or Vista.

You might have noticed the Arctic Freezer cooler. I was so impressed with the Intel version I used with my new system build that I bought the Athlon 64 version to use in this rebuild, and so far it has reduced the CPU temperature by 7 degrees on average compared to the standard Athlon 64 cooler, and it is much quieter.

I'm still going to try and repair and get the older Asus motherboard working again as I have a spare Athlon 64 waiting in the wings for it. Hopefully it is just the cap I noticed was blown on the board. If I can I'm not actually sure what I would use it for. Maybe build a test server with it.

Merlin
1st April 2009, 14:23
There's nothing wrong with AsRock boards, H.

I used to be an Abit fanboy until a particularly nasty experience with an Abit KV7M-RAID board (Kinnie has had the same pain with the same board). No matter what I tried, it just sat there with the warning siren going off and no boot. I took it back Aria in Manchester and they tried their CPU, memory and graphics card on my board and it booted; tried mine and nothing. They tried my parts on their identical test board and it booted! We tried all combinations and at the end, there was just no explaining it, as the CPU, memory and Graphics cards were the same brands and were more or less identical; it was just a badly designed board IMO. In the end I got a K7S8X AsRock board instead and that was absolutely rock solid with a Athlon 2400+ in it.

My current machine has an AsRock 775 Dual-VSTA board in it, with a 3.2Ghz Celeron D, 2Gb DDR2 667 Corsair memory and an Nvidia 7300GT 512Mb graphics card. Not exactly cutting edge, but as reliable as a toaster running under XP.

Harrison
1st April 2009, 18:23
ASRock didn't used to be that great when they first appeared on the scene in about 2002. The boards were budget end of the market and limited in features. But as I mentioned above, they have come a long way, and are now making good quality middle of the road motherboards. Still not on par with Asus and the other big boys for features. But like you say, they seem to be very reliable boards that just work and don't require loads of bios tweaks and updates like higher end enthusiast boards often do.

About the only thing I did notice is that the same CPU was running about 8 degrees hotter on this ASRock board with the same heatsink, compared to when it was in the old Asus board. But with the new heatsink installed it is now about 1-2 degrees lower.

It also seems really stable so far.

rkauer
1st April 2009, 22:45
Asrock is the second line of products of ASUS, BTW.

Harrison
1st April 2009, 23:41
Yeah I knew RSRock are a subsidiary of Asustek. However they are a separate entity in many respects, and a lot of their stuff is made in China, whereas Asus now source a lot of their motherboard components from Japan.